A fire broke out in the early morning hours at a Landover Hills, Maryland, home on Wednesday that saw two people injured and taken to the hospital. The house was home to three animals, and one — a pit bull named Precious — was seen standing guard over her owner throughout the entire incident, even as firefighters arrived. Now that pit bull and her puppy are in a shelter with no chance of returning to their owner.
Precious the pit bull and her pup will be losing their home following the fire, but it won’t be due to the fire or even the pit bull’s behavior during the fire. In fact, firefighters have stated that the dog was remarkably calm during the entire ordeal, despite them throwing a fire extinguisher at her in order to get her out of the way when they first arrived to fight the blaze. Firefighters were initially apprehensive about her presence at the home, and because she was standing guard over the members of the house they had a slightly hard time getting to the injured persons in the burning house. Once the injured persons were brought outside, the pit bull once more took up guard over her owner’s body until animal control was called in to take the pit bull, her pup, and a rat terrier.
The reason Precious is losing her home is because the fire took place in Prince George’s County, and it has a longstanding discrimination against her breed. Pit bulls are banned in the county. Wednesday night found Precious and her puppy, Molly, in a Prince George’s County animal shelter, it is unclear what will happen to the animals due to their illegal status.
A woman and her father lived at the house that was on fire, and both were taken to the local hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and were not seriously injured. NBC Washington reported that the man’s son, who also lives at the home but was not there when the fire broke out, says Precious has always been a loyal dog. The family is aware of the ban on pit bulls in the county but strongly disagrees with it.
Pit bull bans are also known as breed-specific legislation (BSL) and unfortunately exist across a myriad of states. In fact, a previous Inquisitr article saw the People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) joining the distasteful anti-pit bull coalition, which aims to eradicate all pit bulls, earlier this year. Organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Veterinary Medical Association are all a part of an extensive list that has denounced the ban and are working to have it repealed.
The ban against pit bulls tend to be more enforced at a county level and have a track record of doing more harm than good since they tear dogs from their family’s homes, interfere with civil liberties, and show no evidence of actually increasing public safety. Breed-specific legislation has been on the decline for these reasons, and certain states are passing legislation that prohibits local counties from enacting or enforcing BSL’s. To date, up to 19 states have taken this step.
Michigan’s Hazel Park lifted their ban on pit bulls back in May when a pit bull was removed from the town even after she saved her owner from a domestic violence situation. Huffington Post wrote that outcry attributed to the lift in Michigan and the executive director of the Maryland Dog Federation, Adrienne Lefkowitz, hopes that perhaps the same can happen in Prince George’s County. Following the terrible loss of the family’s home, them having to lose their dogs too would be simply heartbreaking.
“Our hearts are broken for this family because these dogs cannot be returned to the people they know and love and who love them back. This shouldn’t be happening in America.”
The cause of the fire at the family’s home is still under investigation.
[Image via Shutterstock]